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Number of voters:
|3 Feb. 1715||HENRY NEWPORT, Lord Newport||1924|
|SIR ROBERT CORBET||1825|
|10 Mar. 1720||CORBET re-elected after appointment to office|
|12 Apr. 1722||JOHN KYNASTON||2156|
|Sir Robert Corbet||1831|
|Henry Newport, Lord Newport||1805|
|7 Sept. 1727||JOHN WALCOT|
|WILLIAM LACON CHILDE|
|9 May 1734||SIR JOHN ASTLEY|
|11 Dec. 1740||RICHARD LYSTER vice Kynaston, deceased|
|12 May 1741||SIR JOHN ASTLEY|
|16 July 1747||SIR JOHN ASTLEY|
In the early eighteenth century Shropshire was hotly contested between Whigs and Tories, drawn from a small group of families, the Tories being nearly all Jacobite sympathizers. The heads of the Whig interest were the Earl of Bradford and his son Henry, Lord Newport, supported by the Corbets of Stoke and Moreton Corbet; the chief Tories were Lord Gower, who had some interest in the north of the county, the Jacobite Kynastons and Robert Lloyd, and after 1740 Richard Lyster and Sir John Astley. Other families of importance were the Corbets of Longnor, the Whitmores, Foresters, Herberts and the Walcots; but these, whether Whig or Tory, were largely concerned in borough politics and normally did not appear as principals in the county.
The pro-Hanoverian atmosphere of 1715 was favourable to the Whigs, who won both seats with Henry, Lord Newport, and Sir Robert Corbet. But in 1722 the verdict was reversed and thenceforth two Tories were always returned unopposed. After the death of the 3rd Earl of Bradford (Henry Newport) in 1734, the leadership of the Shropshire Whigs passed to H. A. Herbert, created Earl of Powis 1748. In 1749 Powis, having been asked to keep up Sir Richard Corbet’s interest at Shrewsbury,1 negotiated an agreement with the Tories under which they were to be left undisturbed in possession of the county seats, in return for a reciprocal concession to the Whigs at Shrewsbury.
Author: J. B. Lawson
- 1. Sir Rich. Corbet to Edw. Corbet, n.d. c. 1747-9. Longnor mss, Salop RO.